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12 February 2002, 10:07 am
Day Two
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Americas Cup International Regatta

Team New Zealand and Victory Challenge win in the rain, only one race held, Wednesday is a lay-day.
The racing was delayed for one hour today whilst wind conditions stabilised enough for a start to be given. Eight knots of wind at the start from the North West quickly faded and shifted around making racing difficult and curtailing the day's programme early with only one race run of the two races scheduled.

Victory Challenge beat GBR Challenge by 58 seconds

In the hands of Andy Beadsworth, GBR Challenge (GBR-52) largely dominated the pre-start against the Victory Challenge. Both boats started at the committee boat end, Victory Challenge came off the start line 12 seconds behind the British boat, firmly in its wake.

Tacking on to port to clear its air the Swedish boat was covered by GBR-52 from a safe position to windward. The pair sailed upwind on port tack and a right hand shift, the falling breeze and the good upwind speed of the brand new Swedish boat forced the Brits to tack away early.

Jesper Bank steering Orn (SWE-63), tacked back to cover on the right hand side. The British crew decided at this point that they wanted to change sides and tacked back to port taking the Swedish boat's stern and sailing off into some better wind. At the first mark the British boat led by several lengths and held onto most of the lead down the first downwind leg.

But the conditions were deteriorating, the wind dying away and shifting to the South West making sailing rather precarious.

Having tacked straight around the bottom mark GBR Challenge led up the second leg in four knots of breeze. But with a constantly shifting breeze to the left, the nimble Victory Challenge sailed past the British boat and into the lead, eventually having to set a spinnaker in the shifting breeze on this upwind leg.

The Swedes held their lead all the way down the second downwind leg, which by now had turned into a one-sided beat, to take their first race in the match race series.

Team New Zealand beat OneWorld Challenge by two minutes and 13 seconds

Sailing in from the left hand end OneWorld Challenge, steered by Australian-born James Spithill, dialled-up next door to NZL-60, the Team New Zealand boat steered by Dean Barker. As the Kiwis had shown during the last America's Cup they are usually better at slowing their boat down in a dial-up than their opposition and hence moving into a dominant position for the rest of this crucial part of the race.

The pair hung head to wind for more than a minute before the New Zealanders lead away eventually starting at speed at the committee boat end whilst OneWorld started at the pin end on the gun.

The pair sailed upwind on starboard most of the way to the layline with Team New Zealand demonstrating the kind of pace that allowed the Kiwis to win the last America's Cup. At the first mark they held a comfortable lead.

The fickle and unstable wind made it difficult for the American boat to come back. From rounding the last mark nearly four minutes off the lead the OneWorld Challenge eventually cut that margin in half to finish over two minutes behind the Kiwis.

Racing for Round Robin One will resume on Thursday after Wednesday's scheduled day-off. For live race commentary visit on Thursday.

Louis Vuitton Cup Press/News Editor
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